Friday, March 21, 2008

The Nail

As usual, Joseph was up much earlier than everyone else was. Joseph loved his work, and just couldn’t wait to go back to it each day. Jesus could hear the pounding of the hammer from his bedroom. It often woke him.

He walked to the window and watched as Joseph worked on the broken cart of Widow Jonas. A wheel had fallen off, and had to be replaced. Feeling a need to help his earthly Father, he walked out to Joseph.

“Jesus, I must have a new nail for the wheel. The old one is weak. Go see the blacksmith and bring back a strong nail.”

Jesus quickly walked through the neighborhood to the blacksmith’s shop. The lack of rain had made the streets very dusty, and as he walked he could feel the dust rising up and collecting on his ankles. The rocks pushed against the soles of his feet. He began to wish he’d taken time to strap on his sandals.

As he neared the blacksmith’s shop he could hear a different pounding. It was the sharp sound of metal against metal, as the blacksmith would beat the hot iron into shape. The smell was sulfuric and strong. As Jesus entered the shop he saw the fire as it bellowed within the oven. He couldn’t help but to watch the flames as they flickered from red to blue to green to yellow. His thoughts became deep as he watched the fire.

“Jesus! Where are you son?” The blacksmith must have been trying to get his attention for a while.

“Sir, my father needs a spike for Widow Jonas’ cart. The old one is weak and worn.” Jesus explained.

The blacksmith shuffled through a wooden box, and found the spike. As he handed it to Jesus the weight of it was almost unbearable for the small boy. As he walked back to Joseph’s shop, the metal and the thought of the spike caused his hand to ache. Jesus realized the significance of this size nail, and as he walked, his thoughts once again turned to the fire in the oven, and he prayed for strength.

He looked at the nail and thought about how important it was to the cart repair. Without it, the cart would remain broken. Without the nail in his hand, mankind would also be broken. His countenance began to rise as he though about the repair he would one day make.

“Here is the nail, Father!” Jesus said with a smile.

Mary appeared at the door, smiling at her son helping his father. As their eyes met, he saw the love in her heart, and knew God’s plan was perfect.

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